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The Black Agenda Report

Bloomberg Personifies What the Occupation Opposes

New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg justified clearing the tents and other materials of Occupation from Zuccotti Park, saying the protesters will now “have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.” This is a strange kind of logic from the 12th richest man in America, who occupies City Hall for one reason only – because he has bought the office three times since 2001. Mr. Bloomberg’s $20 billion fortune maintains him in the Executive Mansion, not the power of his arguments.

Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until he found it more convenient to run as a Republican, and then as an independent – thus proving that money, not party, is what counts in New York, as in all American politics. Everything else is a diversion, and a lie. Bloomberg has used the mayor’s office to make the city more hospitable to his fellow economic one-percenters from all around the planet. But, in that sense, he is no different than the mayors of other American cities – including most of the Black ones – who collaborate in every rich man’s scheme to expel the poor in favor of wealthier populations. They’ve all got a lot of Bloomberg in them; they are operatives for whoever has the money.

When Bloomberg moved to end the 24-7 physical occupation of Zuccotti Park, it was not on the strength of his argument – which was full of lies and wholly unconvincing – but with the raw power of his police force and its monopoly on violence.

So Mayor Bloomberg, like all the rich man’s mayors in all the U.S. cities that are determined to end their local Occupations, pays his hypocritical respects to democracy and reason, when in fact his authority is nothing but an extension of the rule of capital.

Bloomberg, the personification of Wall Street, made his vast fortune selling a machine called the Market Master. Having mastered the market, the logic of money was all that was required for Bloomberg to become master of politics in the nation’s most important city. Bloomberg’s career is the story of today's America, a place where people who market machines and schemes so that money can produce more money for themselves and their fellow Lords of Capital, can then purchase governments and write their own laws in order to maintain their power in perpetuity.

If the Occupy Wall Street movement has been about anything, it is the absolute necessity to rid the nation – and the world – of the collective tyranny of the Bloombergs, the dictatorship of the moneyed classes. If there is to be any lesson in this two-month-long Occupation that is actually useful to people, it is that people's power cannot long coexist with the power of massed capital. Capital will ultimately shut the people down. The people must, therefore, have at least the goal of shutting down the infernal machines of capital.

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Glen Ford

Back Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

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